Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

A summer of distractions


Welcome to the first week of summer–though you’d never know it here in MN. Our temps are in the 70s, when usually we’ve got 80s by now (that’s Fahrenheit for those from Down Under or across the pond). And I’m not complaining. I like cooler rather than the gawd-awful heat they’re getting out west. I mean, over 110 degrees in AZ? OMG.

I’d rather complain about the mosquitos. I was out in the garden the other night (pulling weeds because, well, they seem to think they own the place), and it was like a cloud of tiny vampires. I had mosquito repellent on, plus a long-sleeved shirt, plus a net I wear over my head so I don’t have to put repellent on my face. The air around me buzzed. Ugh. And no dragonflies in sight. With such a feast, maybe the dragonflies were full πŸ™‚

*looks around the writing office* Anyone see my Muse? No? Whew. He’s been threatening to tie me to my chair so I’ll have no choice but to write. I know he’s doing his job, but I’m really having trouble getting back into my WIP. I took a mini-retreat last weekend to my dad’s, since he went to visit my sister. I got through the scene I was stuck on, now I’m stuck again. I’m thinking I need some writing sister help.

Speaking of, I’m starting to count down to our reunion–one month and change. We always have a great time, and so much creative energy!


Okay, um, he’s behind me, isn’t he? Damn, I knew if I mentioned him he’d show up. Maybe if I pretend I didn’t hear him, he’ll go away.

“You know I won’t, love.”

Gulp. I’ll update the board. Yep, I was meaning to do that. I rearrange the active and inactive lists. My agent touched base with all the editors who have the manuscript, so there’s eight on the active list. Two of them have been unresponsive, so the inactive list has two entries.

“Now that you’re done playing around, sit down and write.”

I suck in a deep breath and let it out slowly before I turn around. “Oh, hi. I was just thinking about you.” My Muse is rougish today, in an oddly-attractive getup of faded jeans, holey red t-shirt that probably needs to retire to the rag pile, and faded flannel shirt that might have been red and black, but now is reddish and gray. If he’s shaved in the past week, the rough stubble on his face doesn’t show it.

“What happened to Indiana Jones? Did Harrison Ford call and ask for his fedora back?”

He crosses his arms on his chest and shoots me a stern look, the one that says “don’t give me any bullshit”, a distinct lack of humor in his eyes. “Har, har. Maybe I should take a page from the Hell’s Angels instead. Would you listen to me then? Biker leathers and chains?”

Puke. Not a fan. “No, no, this is fine. I’m good with rough and outdoorsy. It is outdoorsy, right? Not ‘I lost my construction job and I’m sulking in front of the TV’. By the way, don’t do the beard thing. Not a good look for you.”

He frowns. “You’re planning on writing this weekend, right?”

“I always plan on writing on the weekends. I’ve got my cousin’s graduation today. We’ll be gone all afternoon. And if it stays dry, I’ve got a jungle of weeds to pull. It’s summer. C’mon, this happens every summer.”

“And every summer I have to bust my ass to get you to sit down and write. Your reunion isΒ  coming up. You have to send the first 20 pages of your WIP to your sisters in a couple weeks.”

“I think I need their help with this one. I’m not feelin’ it. There’s something missing.”

“Yeah, you at your desk, writing.” He heaves a sigh, like this is a burden he has to put up with. Come to think of it, that’s probably accurate. “Please?”

Wait. What? “Did you just say ‘please’?”

He takes another step closer and puts his hands on my shoulders. “Tell you what.” He squeezes my shoulders. “You sit down and write, and I’ll get a new bucket of ideas to toss at the brainstorming wall.”

That’ll work, I think. I’ll have an hour and a half drive to my cousin’s house and another hour and a half back today to mull over ideas. I’d include a few pics here, but I haven’t taken any new ones since it’s been so wet outside. We did let the chicks into the bigger pen now, but when I tried to take their picture, they were really shy and stayed in the coop. And I tried to get a good pic of our nightly visitor, but the lousy lighting doesn’t help. I’ll try to get a better pic and tell the story next week.

Until then, have a great weekend and WRITE!


Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, four chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

18 thoughts on “A summer of distractions

  1. It’s so easy to get distracted in the summer. To me, it sounds like you’re working at the WIP despite the distractions. Glad the muse has put away the bullwhip and is being helpful. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trying to work the WIP, anyway. The past couple weeks have been unusually busy, but with the extended July Fourth weekend coming up (and I don’t even have to take any vacation time on Monday the 3rd; the company gave us a holiday day), I’m hoping to sit at the writing desk more. After I get the weeds under control, of course! πŸ˜€ Hope you’re having a great weekend, D!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, the tease about the nightly visitor. So curious to know what kind of creature it is. I know what you mean about stuck at a scene. That’s a pain. It will be nice to have that long drive to work through it, hopefully. Throwing a lot of thought at something is what usually does it for me. Good luck with those weeds and mosquitoes. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, the weekend is almost over, but I did manage just shy of 2K. A far cry from what I’d intended, but at least it was something. Summer definitely puts a crimp into the writing routine and I don’t even have a garden.

    It’s been on the cool side here too. Almost the end of June and I’ve only been in my pool twice. I’m hoping for hotter temps the week of the 4th as I’ve got a few days off then. I’m hoping for pool time and writing.

    I bet your creativity gets kicked into overdrive once you have your writing retreat. Your muse isn’t going to know what to do with all of that energy πŸ™‚ In the meantime stay safe from those pesky mosquitoes. Fingers crossed the dragon flies will return soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2K? Great job! Far more than I managed. I’m eagerly awaiting next weekend; my company gave us the 3rd off as well as the 4th. Plus, my SIL is taking the kids for the rest of the week (my daughter on the 5th, my son will drive to my SIL’s place on the 6th after his dentist appt) through Sunday. One less distraction! Now, if I could convince the weeds to just stop growing for a few days, I’d be set!

      OMG, talk about creative energy overdrive when the Writing Sisters get together πŸ˜€ I can’t wait! I get so inspired over that weekend, then I get home and can’t write because of all the usual distractions. Some day I’ll figure out I need to take an extra day before heading home so I can put all that creative energy to use!

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those long stretches of time off are the best. I’m looking forward to mine next week and hoping to be productive. It sounds like you’re going to have a great opportunity for writing next week.

        And then, of course, everything you have to look forward to with the Writing Sisters. There’s nothing more inspiring then getting together with other writers!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Julie, this is a great post. I love your muse’s response to something being missing– you at your writing desk. The Writing Sisters sound cool. Wishing you many words!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The muse in serious conciliatory, helpful mode! πŸ˜€ It must be serious. It sounds as if your Dad should go travelling a lot more as his place is a superb writing haven and glad you got the scene sorted. I’m sure the thought of the reunion will be the impetuous you need to write more on the WIP – and the weather outdoors doesn’t sound tempting at all! Grr…those mosquitoes sound so annoying! Happy writing and weeding! πŸ˜€β€οΈ

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! My Muse is trying different tactics, I think. Spent last night from the time I got home from work until almost dark in the garden pulling weeds. Ugh. If my veggies grew half as well, this gardening stuff would be way easier πŸ™‚ Today it’ll rain pretty much all day, so I’m planning on a couple hours with my WIP tonight. The good part about the rain: an excuse to stay inside, and out of the garden. The bad part: the weeds just grow that much better, and the mosquitoes!

      Have a great rest of your week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’d think nature would have got the balance just right by now!!πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒ Our UK heatwave collapsed into Autumn cold and rain…grrr. Oh yes, the weeds are SO happy here too! Berries are doing brilliantly however!!

        Liked by 1 person

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